• Record Label: Kranky
  • Release Date: Jan 29, 2007
User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 34 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 34
  2. Negative: 1 out of 34

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  1. Oct 28, 2014
    6
    If you listen to Deerhunter's back catalogue, you could be forgiven for thinking that Cryptograms came later in their career, in their experimental period. Unlike most indie rock bands, Deerhunter have gotten more melodic and less experimental as their career has progressed. Cryptograms works best when listened to in its entirety in the one sitting. This allows you to immerse yourself inIf you listen to Deerhunter's back catalogue, you could be forgiven for thinking that Cryptograms came later in their career, in their experimental period. Unlike most indie rock bands, Deerhunter have gotten more melodic and less experimental as their career has progressed. Cryptograms works best when listened to in its entirety in the one sitting. This allows you to immerse yourself in the record and really get your teeth into it. On the other hand, while I find this the best way to listen to the album, it also highlights the downsides to the record. At times the band simply overindulge with certain ideas resulting in some tracks sounding repetitive and ultimately boring which is something I could never say about the bands best works (which I feel are Microcastle and Halycon Digest). For me, its more a very interesting album rather than a very good album. "Red Ink" is the standout track for me. Expand
  2. Oct 23, 2011
    8
    The album takes quite a few listens to sink in. The first half of the album is mostly comprised of instrumental tracks, whereas the second half is made up of some nice psychedelic pop. Overall a great album with the stand out track being Spring Hall Convert.
  3. nashaq
    Feb 4, 2009
    6
    I think this album has been a bit over rated, it seemed 'fashionable' to like this album (I actually prefer Microcastles). Some good songs but then a few mediocre.
  4. JohnA
    Apr 13, 2007
    10
    The first time I listened to this CD is was OK. But, I listened to it again and again and again.........so the more I listened the deeper and better the songs became (the sound is hard to define yet it is intricate and deep with the abstract vocals). Then I saw their live show and they put on a PHENOMINAL performance!!! I bought their 2LP and EP at the show and now they are my fav indie group.
  5. SDK
    Apr 8, 2007
    10
    A lovely balance of psychy melodic & noisy turn-a-rounds from this 5 piece of innocents. This is one of those memorable albums, you know the type I speak of. Mm Hmm. Liek that CD you've had since 1989. You wouldn't daret part with it and when you listen, it has to be from start to finish. These cats really know production. However, I would definitely recommned that they work on A lovely balance of psychy melodic & noisy turn-a-rounds from this 5 piece of innocents. This is one of those memorable albums, you know the type I speak of. Mm Hmm. Liek that CD you've had since 1989. You wouldn't daret part with it and when you listen, it has to be from start to finish. These cats really know production. However, I would definitely recommned that they work on their live act. Expand
  6. SamH
    Mar 22, 2007
    9
    I am very partial to shoegaze, but this is a truly amazing dosage of pleasant psychedelia. Not as forceful as Serena Maneesh or MBV, but incredibly focussed and more immediately engaging. One of 2007's finest.
  7. BrianH
    Mar 7, 2007
    9
    Complex, lovely psychedelia. Takes several listens to digest. Not every song is engaging, but they have a really wonderful sound that carries them. Guitars alternately swirl and dart over dead-sounding drums and funky, almost dance-y bass. But my favorite part of the sound might be the vocals -- superb lyrics (at least I think they are, based on what I can decipher). I hope they decide to Complex, lovely psychedelia. Takes several listens to digest. Not every song is engaging, but they have a really wonderful sound that carries them. Guitars alternately swirl and dart over dead-sounding drums and funky, almost dance-y bass. But my favorite part of the sound might be the vocals -- superb lyrics (at least I think they are, based on what I can decipher). I hope they decide to continue making music, because I think they have the potential to record a classic. Expand
  8. rachel
    Feb 22, 2007
    5
    mediocre. this is not a brilliant album, it has a few decent moments, but overall its nothing remarkable. i wonder how big these guys would be if pitchfork didnt hype them up so much.
  9. ToddW
    Feb 14, 2007
    7
    Channeling Spaceman 3 through a wall of sound reminiscent of tourmates The Liars, one would figure this album would be an instant classic. It's not. Although a more melodic listen than most everything The Liars has done, it doesn't reward after repeated listens like Drum's Not Dead. It's a lot of work trying to find the needle in the haystacks these songs present. And Channeling Spaceman 3 through a wall of sound reminiscent of tourmates The Liars, one would figure this album would be an instant classic. It's not. Although a more melodic listen than most everything The Liars has done, it doesn't reward after repeated listens like Drum's Not Dead. It's a lot of work trying to find the needle in the haystacks these songs present. And when you find one, it's just kind of a disappointing shrug and...next. There's really nothing here that's got that WTF factor. For those who have drunk the koolaid in comparing it to Loveless, please, take a cold shower. Better yet, spin this album again. It'll eventually calm you down. Expand
  10. NikolaiF
    Feb 11, 2007
    10
    Solid return. Best shoegaze album since Loveless.
  11. WinstonC
    Feb 9, 2007
    10
    A Brillant Album start to finish....don't understand why it isn't released on vinyl considering that would be ideal consumption and all in one sitting. Great live band and awesome engaging album you likely won't forget if you can get past the first play.
  12. GregBH
    Feb 8, 2007
    8
    Refreshing psychedelia. Nice sounds, nothing too jarring. Nice hooks. It all works for me.
  13. pg
    Feb 7, 2007
    9
    a great listen. something to actually wrap your ears around and enjoy.
  14. mathk.
    Feb 7, 2007
    9
    divided into two parts. one part all weird sounds, the other way cool and catchy tunes. kinda hard to get through the first time but after the second or third listen you realize the cool and catchy tunes kick in at just the right moment and well... it's brilliant.
  15. MerakeshH
    Feb 6, 2007
    1
    I saw Deerhunter in August and it pains me to rate their album so low because their singer is very nice but I hated every second on this disc. Their live show is okay in a disturbing way but don't buy their records.
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Yeah, the alternate/alternating track sequence is screwy for the first seven songs or so — Deerhunter build momentum only to lose it. But it gives the album’s backside something of a black-and-white-to-Technicolor moment.
  2. Although it's definitely a bit bi-polar, Cryptograms still gets high marks for offering up a slew of great tracks and actually gaining strength the longer it goes on.
  3. This is not a complete or coherent narrative of despair, as the two album halves don’t particularly work with one another—it really feels like two EPs sewn together. But the effort is more than evocative enough to scare the hell out of you, at least for a little while.